Access Minnesota

19 July 2017

MN’s Business Climate 2017

For the week of July 23, 2017

A look at Minnesota’s current business climate: How will Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods and Minneapolis’s minimum wage ordinance affect the health of the state’s economy?

Guest: Paul Vaaler, Professor and the John and Bruce Mooty Chair in Law & Business at the University of Minnesota

  • Part 1 – 12:08

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    Two words describe how Minnesota’s economy is doing: “well and differently,” says Professor Vaaler. Minnesota’s growth since 2008 has been faster than much of the country, including neighboring states; and, Minnesota has outpaced the country in terms of unemployment and worker participation rates.

  • Part 2 – 14:28

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    Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods could impact Target and local grocery stores. The challenge for Target and other big box stores, says Vaaler, will be to create destination spaces that can compete with online retail. In Minneapolis, the outcome of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will depend on whether St. Paul and the surrounding metro areas follow suit and how companies adjust to the wage increase. “A typical response to increases in wage rates is to increase more in capital—to either replace labor or make it more productive,” says Vaaler.

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